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The N&O On NCAA Gadfly Jay Bilas

A member of K’s first great Duke team, Bilas has carved out a role as the NCAA’s most fierce critic.

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The 2015 ESPYS - Arrivals
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15: TV personality Jay Bilas attends The 2015 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

The N&O has a solid piece up on former Blue Devils Jay Bilas, who they rightly say has emerged as the NCAA’s leading critic.

Bilas has been really consistent in his criticisms and has chipped away at the NCAA in many ways.

We don’t completely disagree with the idea that there is a lot of value in what the NCAA offers especially for young people who have slim odds of a college education otherwise. As the late Phil Henderson once said, certainly Duke exploited him, but he exploited Duke right back and he was wise to do so.

But Bilas is fundamentally right: the system has gotten hard to justify and sweeping changes are not just right but probably inevitable. There’s so much money flowing through basketball now (and a nice chunk of it flows to Bilas via ESPN) that it’s hard to avoid it.

Bilas as you probably know is also an attorney. His face time on ESPN, his doggedness and his intelligence would make him a formidable opponent in a courtroom.

Speaking of ESPN, while it’s obviously harder to criticize your employer, we’d be fascinated to hear Bilas’s take on a number of things Bristol: the culture there, the recent layoffs, the debate over on-air politics, cordcutting, the ACC Network, the allegations of widespread harassment, whether E-sports is a legitimate concern for the network and more.

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